India urges Gulf countries to raise wages of NRIs

India is pressing wealthy countries in the Gulf to raise the wages of millions of Indians working there. Over 5 million Indians are believed to be employed in the oil exporting Gulf states, the single largest group in a migrant worker population of over 20 million. Migrants work in dangerous situations in their jobs in construction, the oil industry, transport and services. They account for nearly half of the emigrants in the 50 million population of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council. Over the past seven months, diplomats in the GCC countries have sharply increased the minimum salaries they recommend for Indian workers at private and public firms in those states. The success of India's strategy is not yet clear and it is reported that officials in some GCC nations have expressed their displeasure. The strategy could backfire if those countries end up hiring more workers from elsewhere in the world, including from Bangladesh and Pakistan.